How will climate policy affect energy access goals?

 

 

 

Stringent climate policies would increase the cost of fossil fuels, including those used for the cleaner burning stoves (such as kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas, electricity, and piped gas) that are slowly replacing traditional cooking fuels. Without simultaneous targeted efforts to increase funding for energy access, many who would otherwise have been able to switch from traditional solid fuels to modern cooking fuels would no longer be able to afford the switch, according to a study published in the first issue of the new journal Nature Energy.

 

 

Currently, three billion people worldwide rely on solid fuels such as firewood, charcoal, coal, and dung for cooking. Burning these types of fuels, especially indoors, is a major source of air pollution, and is estimated to lead to 4.3 million premature deaths each year. The Sustainable Development Goals have set a target of achieving universal access to modern energy by 2030–but at the same time they call for urgent action to combat climate change.

“There is a lot of pressure on developing countries to take action on climate change. But there has not been much research on how these two policy goals interact,” says IIASA researcher Shonali Pachauri, who led the study. “We wanted to find out if there are trade-offs, and if so, how can we design policies that get around this problem?”

The new study focused on South Asia, where an estimated 72% of the population still relies on solid fuels for cooking. It shows that on the current trajectory, by 2030 that number could be reduced to 727 million (35% of the population). But with climate policies and no complementary energy access policies, the study shows, an additional 336 million people who would have otherwise switched to modern fuels will be unable to afford the switch.

The researchers relied on “Access,” a residential fuel choice model and the IIASA Model for Energy Supply Strategy Alternatives and their General Environmental Impact (MESSAGE) to evaluate four scenarios for climate mitigation at varying levels of policy stringency, each considering a range of subsidies supporting clean fuels or stoves.

“We found that as we increased the carbon price, the detrimental effect on energy access increased disproportionately to the beneficial effect for the climate,” says Colin Cameron, a co-author on the paper.

The study also found that the people most impacted by policies on climate and energy access were neither the poorest nor the richest, but rather those slightly above the poverty line but for whom energy access may be just out of reach.

 

The good news is that energy access subsidies could offset the negative effects of rising fuel costs spurred by climate policy. However, the study found a broad range of costs for energy access subsidies with similar impacts. The most efficient subsidies, according to the researchers, were those that focused on supporting cook-stove purchases along with fuel bills. Pachauri explains, “For many people, the initial investment in a stove is just too big. Getting over that hurdle may be the push many people need to make the switch to clean-burning fuels.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160114113404.htm

Solar And Wind Power For The Eiffel Tower

UGE International Ltd. has installed two on-site wind turbines on the Eiffel Tower as part of a major renovation to the first floor of the iconic structure.

The two UGE VisionAIR5 wind turbines will produce 10,000 kilowatt hours annually, enough to power the commercial areas of the Eiffel Tower’s first floor.

The vertical-axis VisionAIR5 turbine has a height of 5.2m and a width of 3.2m. It has a cut in wind speed of 3.5 m/s and a survival wind speed of 50 m/s. UGE says the VisionAIR5 has been designed for a service life of at least 20 years and is ‘quieter than a human whisper’.

“The Eiffel Tower is arguably the most renowned architectural icon in the world, and we are proud that our advanced technology was chosen as the Tower commits to a more sustainable future,” said Nick Blitterswyk, CEO of UGE. “When visitors from around the world see the wind turbines, we get one step closer to a world powered by clean and reliable renewable energy.”

In addition to wind power, the first floor renovation also included LED lighting and a solar hot water system mounted on Ferrié Pavilion; the output of which will supply approximately 50% of the water heating needs of the first floor’s two pavilions.

A rainwater recovery system has also been installed to provide flushing water for toilet facilities.

High-performance heat pumps have been integrated to improve temperature control and glazing has been used to reduce summer solar heat gain by more than 25%, reducing air conditioning related energy consumption.

The renovation project was the most ambitious Eiffel Tower refurbishment in nearly 30 years.

Tour Eiffel Wikimedia Commons.jpg

Tower trivia

The Eiffel Tower was constructed in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair. At 324 metres, it’s the tallest structure in Paris and was the tallest man-made structure in the world until 1930. The iron in the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tonnes and the entire structure is approximately 10,000 tonnes. Holding together the iron latticework are 2.5 million rivets.

As with the Sydney Harbour Bridge, painting is a major maintenance task. 60 tonnes is used for every 7 year repaint.

More than a quarter of a billion people have visited the Eiffel Tower since it was opened.

http://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-news/solar-wind-eiffel-tower-em4704/

Harnessing the Sun’s Energy for Water and Space Heating

The pace of solar energy development is accelerating as the installation of rooftop solar water heaters takes off. Unlike solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that convert solar radiation into electricity, these “solar thermal collectors” use the sun’s energy to heat water, space, or both.

 

20110504-RD-LSC-0621 - Flickr - USDAgov.jpg

China had an estimated 168 million square meters (1.8 billion square feet) of rooftop solar thermal collectors installed by the end of 2010 — nearly two thirds of the world total. This is equivalent to 118,000 thermal megawatts of capacity, enough to supply 112 million Chinese households with hot water. With some 5,000 Chinese companies manufacturing these devices, this relatively simple low-cost technology has leapfrogged into villages that do not yet have electricity. For as little as $200, villagers can install a rooftop solar collector and take their first hot shower. This technology is sweeping China like wildfire, already approaching market saturation in some communities. Beijing’s goal is to reach 300 million square meters of rooftop solar water heating capacity across the country by 2020, a goal it is likely to exceed.

Other developing countries such as India and Brazil may also soon see millions of households turning to this inexpensive water heating technology. Once the initial installment cost of rooftop solar water heaters is paid back, the hot water is essentially free.

In Europe, where energy costs are relatively high, rooftop solar water heaters are also spreading fast. In Austria, 15 percent of all households now rely on them for hot water. Germany is also forging ahead. Some 2 million Germans are now living in homes with rooftop solar systems. Roughly 30 percent of the installed solar thermal capacity in these two countries consists of “solar-combi-systems” that are engineered to heat both water and space.

The U.S. rooftop solar water heating industry has historically concentrated on a niche market — selling and marketing more than 9 million square meters of solar water heaters for swimming pools between 1995 and 2005. Given this base, the industry was poised to mass-market residential solar water and space heating systems when federal tax credits were introduced in 2006. Led by Hawaii, California, and Florida, annual U.S. installations of these systems have more than tripled since 2005.

Despite the recent growth in U.S. installations, the country ranks 36th in installed capacity relative to its population, with just 0.01 square meters installed per person. Cyprus, on the other hand, currently leads the world in solar water heater area on a per capita basis, with 0.79 square meters per person. Israel ranks second with 0.56 square meters per person.

Inspired by the rapid adoption of rooftop water and space heaters in Europe in recent years, the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) has established an ambitious goal of one square meter of rooftop collector for every European by 2020. Over the long term, ESTIF estimates that solar thermal has the potential to meet most of the region’s low-temperature heating needs
Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/solar-water-space-heating-zwfz1201zhun.aspx#ixzz3OWfLPuTs

 

£310m invested in UK wind turbines

Manufacturing giant Siemens and the UK’s Associated British Ports are to invest a total of £310m in UK wind turbine factories, creating 1,000 jobs.

Siemens will put up £160m – doubling its previous plans to invest £80m in wind turbine production in the UK.

The investment is being made across two locations – the Green Port project in Hull, and a second manufacturing facility in Paull in East Yorkshire.

Siemens said the UK “recognises the potential of offshore wind energy”.

“We invest in markets with reliable conditions that can ensure that factories can work to capacity,” said Michael Suess, head of Siemens’s energy sector.

“The British energy policy creates a favourable framework for the expansion of offshore wind energy. In particular, it recognises the potential of offshore wind energy within the overall portfolio of energy production.”

Associated British Ports, which is collaborating with Siemens on the Green Port development in Hull, is investing £150m in the project.

The combined investment of £310m is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs directly – 300 more than previously announced – plus additional jobs in construction and through the supply chain.

The Green Port facility will construct, assemble and service offshore wind turbines, while the second Siemens site in Paull will be used to manufacture the 75-metre rotor blades.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said the investment demonstrated the UK was “backing enterprise with better infrastructure and lower taxes”.

“This deal is excellent news for the people of Hull and the Humber, the UK, the wind industry, and our energy security,” he said.

Wind power is an efficient means of producing energy, he said.

“Offshore wind is producing 80-85% of the time,” Mr Davey told the BBC. “We are the leading country in the world for offshore (wind) investment,.”

The public is behind wind power, which will “create a huge number of green jobs”, he added.

Lord Chris Haskins, Chair of the Humber Local Economic Partnership told Radio 5 the deal was “a transformational moment for the Humber economy”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26725908

 

Electric Vehicle Fleet Gives California Green Energy Boost

The crowded highways of Los Angeles just got a little greener, thanks to a new electric-vehicle program sponsored by the U.S. Air Force. Collectively, the fleet is capable of providing more than 700 kilowatts of power to the grid, which is enough electricity to power 140 homes, Air Force officials  said in a statement.

 

Electric Vehicle Fleet Gives California Green Energy Boost

Electric lexicon

The new vehicles will replace Los Angeles Air Force Base’s general-purpose vehicle fleet — presumably, the cars and trucks that military personnel use to drive around the city. Many of the vehicles are plug-in electric vehicles, or PEVs.

Unlike hybrid electric vehicles — which rely on gasoline-powered engines to stay charged — plug-in electric vehicles are charged the same way cellphones and other electric devices are charged. You simply plug them into a wall socket to recharge their batteries. There are also plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that still have a gas engine but can also be plugged in to recharge the car’s battery packs.

Only some of the military’s new electric cars and trucks have gas engines. Others run only on battery power and differ from many other electric cars because of their ability to transfer electricity back to the grid, in a process known as bi-directional charging. In other words, when these cars are plugged into an electric socket, drivers can either charge the vehicle’s batteries, or remove the energy stored in the car’s batteries and pump it back into the grid.

Powerful stuff

The idea of integrating electric cars into America’s power grid has been around since at least 1997, when Willet Kempton, a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment at the University of Delaware, published his first paper on vehicle-to-grid technology in the peer-reviewed journal Transportation Research.

Kempton’s more recent work has focused on how whole fleets of V2G-enabled electric vehicles could be used to support existing power systems, as well as future power systems that rely more on solar and wind energy.

Currently in the U.S., the power grid handles fluctuations in demand for electricity by storing power in large generators. These generators kick on during peak hours of energy usage (e.g., when everyone gets home from work) and they turn off again when demand for power goes down (e.g., in the middle of the night), Kempton told colleagues at a recent lecture at the University of Delaware.

“At times, there really isn’t enough electricity on the system, and this is when operators would like to take electricity out of storage devices and put it back on the electric grid,” Kempton said. “There is a lot of inherent storage available in electric vehicles, and batteries are the cheapest and most versatile way to store electricity.” [The 10 Most Outrageous Military Experiments]

Cars are an especially good energy-storage optionbecause, most of the time, they’re not in use, Kempton said.

“If a person buys an electric vehicle, they usually drive it about an hour each day. The vehicle is idle for the remaining 23 hours,” Kempton said. “We are going to use this electric storage device for the other 23 hours.”

Electric cars are also a cleaner storage option than generators, many of which still use coal, oil or natural gas to generate electricity. However, some of today’s generators do use hydroelectric dams or nuclear reactors — not fossil fuels.

Test pilot

The Air Force’s new fleet of V2G, plug-in electric vehiclesis one of the first full-scale tests of this technology in the United States. The project received support from the California Energy Commission, which invested $3 million. Federal, state and private energy organizations also contributed to the project, according to Air Force officials.

In the near future, the Air Force hopes to expand its V2G program to other bases around the country, including Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and Joint Base McGuire-Dix in New Jersey.

“The forward thinking of the Air Force promises to be an important signal to the market to move this technology into the mainstream,” Kempton said. “By requesting V2G-capable trucks and cars from several vehicle manufacturers, placed in bases in several states, the Air Force has helped to stimulate demand from both automotive suppliers and the electric industry in these states.”

http://news.yahoo.com/electric-vehicle-fleet-gives-california-green-energy-boost-140512814.html

Green Marine and Canadian Port Authorities to collaborate to reduce environmental footprint

Uitzicht over Halifax

MOU to help with efforts to continously improve on environmental performance…

Green Marine and the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the goal of jointly expanding efforts to reduce the marine industry’s environmental footprint and encourage the industry to continuously improve its environmental performance.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the ACPA 56th Annual General Meeting and Assembly taking place in Belledune, New Brunswick. The MoU was signed earlier this summer during Green Marine’s annual conference, GreenTech 2014, in Saint John New Brunswick. The agreement will serve as a framework for the advancement of the Green Marine Environmental Program and increased collaboration on related initiatives. ACPA and Green Marine will also be working together to expand the participation of both ACPA member ports and terminal operators in the Green Marine Environmental Program.

“This agreement reflects the port authorities’ continued commitment to environmental sustainability,’’ said ACPA President, Wendy Zatylny. With this agreement, we will work together to develop additional tools and measures to strengthen the industry’ environmental performance.’’

“Green Marine looks forward to working closely with ACPA to advance the development of the environmental program and recruit additional companies to participate in Green Marine” said Green Marine Management Corporation President, Raymond Johnston.

Both Green Marine and ACPA are seeking to establish a productive working relationship under this MoU. To that end, they’ve exchanged memberships, with Green Marine being a Supporter of ACPA and ACPA, in turn, now an association member of the Green Marine Management Corporation.

http://www.bcshippingnews.com/ports-terminals/green-marine-and-canadian-port-authorities-collaborate-reduce-environmental-footprin

Organic Photovoltaic cells of the future: Using charge formation efficiency to screen materials for future devices

 

Organic photovoltaic cells — a type of solar cell that uses polymeric materials to capture sunlight — show tremendous promise as energy conversion devices, thanks to key attributes such as flexibility and low-cost production.

But one giant hurdle holding back organic photovoltaic technologies have been the complexity of their power conversion processes, which involve separate charge formation and transport processes.

To maneuver around this problem, a team of researchers in Japan has developed a method to determine the absolute value of the charge formation efficiency. The secret of their method, as they report in Applied Physics Letters, is the combination of two types of spectroscopy.

The two types the team uses are photo-induced spectroscopy to determine the change in absorption after femtosecond photo-pulse excitation, and electrochemical spectroscopy to examine the absorption change due to charge injection. “By qualitative analysis of the spectral change, we can deduce how many charges are produced by one photon — its charge formation efficiency,” said Professor Yutaka Moritomo, Institute of Materials Science at the University of Tsukuba.

Just how significant is this? It’s a huge step forward, said Moritomo, and the team also discovered that the charge formation efficiency remains high (0.55) even at low temperatures (80 K).

“This was extremely surprising,” Moritomo said, since the positive and negative charges are strongly bound in an organic photovoltaic device as an exciton — a bound state of an electron and hole, which are attracted to each other by the electrostatic Coulomb force. “Its charge formation was believed to be too difficult without a thermal activation process,” explained Moritomo. “But our work shows that the charge formation process of an organic photovoltaic device is purely quantum mechanical, and any theoretical model should explain the high charge formation efficiency at low temperatures.”

The team’s work  will enable the high-throughput screening of organic materials for new organic photovoltaic devices. “Organic materials have several requirements — including high charge formation efficiency and high charge transport efficiency — so our method can be used to quickly screen the materials by charge formation efficiency,” Moritomo said.

ext for the team? “Now that we have a method to determine the key physical parameter, charge formation efficiency, we’re exploring the interrelation between it and the nanoscale structure of the organic photovoltaic device to clarify the mechanism of the charge formation,” noted Moritomo.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140819112956.htm

 

Supreme Court limits greenhouse gas regulations

 

A divided Supreme Court blocked the Obama administration Monday from requiring permits for greenhouse gas emissions from new or modified industrial facilities, but the ruling won’t prohibit other means of regulating the pollutant that causes global warming.

The court’s conservative wing ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority by changing the emissions threshold for greenhouse gases in the Clean Air Act to regulate more stationary sources. That action can only be taken by Congress, Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion said.

But the court said the EPA can regulate greenhouse gas emissions from industries already required to get permits for other air pollutants. Those generally are the largest power plants, refineries and other industrial facilities responsible for most such emissions.

The decision only removed one method the administration uses to regulate greenhouse gas emissions at power plants, refineries and other stationary sources, leaving other methods in place. That means the administration can move ahead with its new regulations on existing coal-fired power plants, which are intended to cut emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/23/supreme-court-greenhouse-gas/8567453/
 

Update on the 15 kW Green Turbine!

Green Turbine has nearly finished testing the 15 kW turbine  model and  we are pleased to inform that everything is going according to our schedule. The prototype testing of this model is being done in cooperation with our partner AE Magnetics. We shall be accepting orders on September 1st 2014.

Currently tests are being done all over the world with our previously released turbine version: the 1.4 kW.  This model has been on the market for two years now and has great potential for being used in smaller applications such as biomass run systems or automobiles. The 15 kW turbine, also manufactured in The Netherlands, is an up-scaled version of this model.  This makes the model very suitable for larger applications in various industries.

Eefje Post, account manager at Green Turbine explains: ” Turbines of this size (1.4 kW or 15 kW)  had previously not been on the market, which makes our product unique. The turbine is being sold as a ‘building block’ to system integrators who can develop complete applications with it.  Any fuel type can be used to power the turbine,due to the external combustion process, for instance (bio) gas, wood pellets, grasses, heat from solar concentrators, diesel engines, gas turbines etc. This makes them widely applicable for a variety of industries, from the agriculture sector and biomass industries to the construction, shipping and automobile industry. ““Knowledge of  steam technology is becoming rare nowadays , but especially in this time of energy conservation, steam turbines are, once again, becoming relevant”, Eefje adds.

The 15kW turbine can play an important role in decentralised energy systems. which need to be able to  generate energy off the grid. Apartment buildings and small companies can convert their heat into electricity, combined with renewable systems such as,  biomass boilers and solar panels. The heat released from the condenser can be used as space or floor heating, water heating and cooling.

The upcoming market of the waste heat recovery also has a great suitability for our products. Currently, several companies in the automobile industry are performing experiments using our turbines in  trucks and hybrid cars. Hybrid cars with Green Turbine can extend their range by 20% by capturing waste heat from engine exhaust and converting it to electricity.

The turbine will been offered on a skid with surroundings components like vacuum pump, condenser supplied with a control cabinet.

Here you can see a video of the test setup.

For more information about the 15kW turbine,  please email us at info@greenturbine.eu

The New Role of Microbes in Bio-Fuel Production

 

 

 

Currently biofuel is produced from plants as well as microbes. The oils, carbohydrates or fats generated by the microbes or plants are refined to produce biofuel. This is a green and renewable energy that helps in conserving fossil-fuel usage. But a new research has led to a new discovery of getting the microbes to produce fuel from the proteins instead of utilizing the protein for its own growth. The research is being done at the premises of University of California in Los Angeles.

The focus of the experiment was to induce the microbes under the study to produce a specific kind of proteins rather than what they otherwise might be inclined to produce. This special protein can be refined in to biofuel. The task is to make the microbes produce only this kind of protein rather than utilizing it for their own growth and growth related activities as they otherwise do.

This kind of biofuel production is different from the traditional behavior of microbes where they use the protein only for growth. This is like tricking the microbes to deviate from that and produce fats or material that can be converted to biofuel. In the words of UCLApostdoctoral student and lead researcher, Yi-xin Huo -”We have to completely redirect the protein utilization system, which is one of the most highly-regulated systems in the cell.”

The Nature Biotechnology Sunday issue has published the team’s findings. The team hopes that their findings will rewrite biofuel production by inundating the field with protein eating microbes which will generate fats and substances that can be converted into biofuel. The microbes will feed on proteins that are not fit for animal consumption and keep producing special proteins for biofuel conversion and later can become a better type if fertilizer with less nitrogen and nil harmful greenhouse emissions.

http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/microbes-bio-fuel-production/